As the video teammate this week I was in constant communication with MJs. Whether it was assigning them a story to work on or helping them with technical aspects, I had to make sure that I communicated clearly and effectively in order to insure a good result.
In my second run at video teammate, I was able to relax more and focus on creating a fun and energetic atmosphere. I tried to joke around with MJs and keep things light and friendly in my communication. I believe that using humor in my communication strengthened my relationship with the MJs. This in turn made them more willing to work for me and ultimately produce better work. The news day is long and tiresome. Many of the MJs are volunteers that don’t have to help me if they don’t want. That is why I believe it is extremely important to make sure that their experience as an MJ is positive and fun. Otherwise, they might not show up next time around.
I won’t lie; working with MJs can be frustrating at times. It’s hard when you’re stressed out and overwhelmed to deal with someone who is still learning and might make mistakes often. However, I’ve found that as bad as things might seem, they get better rather quickly. The best thing to do is to not panic and remain calm and collected when communicating with your MJs, even if you’re ready to pull your hair out. If you come off as demanding and insensitive, no one will want to work for you and then you’ll be more overwhelmed than before. This last go around I really tried to remain positive and complimentary of things done well. I think this allowed MJs to be more confident in their work and more proactive in what they could take on. As a result I had many MJs write, edit and shoot multiple stories during the day. This decreased my workload and made things much calmer in the newsroom.